When Magna Entertainment introduced the Magna 5 wager back in 2004, it was an innovative wager. Five races run over an hours’ time at several racetracks, and the pools were large and the payouts were strong.
Magna is now the Stronach Group, and the plan is to bring back the wager with a new name according to Jim Dunleavy of the Daily Racing Form.
The wager was first offered on Jan. 31, 2004 and it included races from Laurel Park., Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, a $2 wager with a 22% takeout and with a $500,000 guaranteed pool.
Dunleavy reported that the new bet would be a $1 increment and that takeout on the wager “has not been finalized, it is not expected to rise and could be a bit lower” than the 22% it was set at previously.
However, since the bet was last offered in 2010, the betting landscape has changed at many tracks. New York now offers an early Pick 5 with a 15% takeout and a .50-cent increment that is one of the best wagers out there for horseplayers. Santa Anita has a Pick 5 with a 14% reduced takeout, also a .50 wager.
Why would I want to wager on the new Magna 5 with a 22% takeout and a $1 increment that involves not one track but possibly three or four?
I apparently am not alone with that sentiment.
“Why would I want to download and print out 4 different tracks to make a high takeout wager with a $1 increment?” asked horseplayer advocate Andy Asaro. “Why should I waste any money on this wager when I could bet the 14% takeout and .50-cent minimum Santa Anita Players Pick 5?”
“Making the minimum .50 cents will get you at least 25% more handle. Making the takeout 18% will add another 20% instead of the 22% takeout you are proposing now.”
The Stronach group hopefully will come to their senses, make the bet a .50-cent wager, and have a takeout of 15%. In addition, free past performances for all horseplayers. Otherwise, there is just no reason to play this wager.
In addition, no change to the wager would mean an unprecedented amount of ranting emails bashing the Stronach Group from Asaro to the racing media. Nobody wants that either.
Dunleavy also reports that the Stronach Group is seeking to come up with a new name for the wager. One possible name is the “Cross Country Pick 5”, which sounds good enough I guess.
Another name being considered is “The Frankie Five” (no I am not making that up, I swear), named after chairman Franck Stronach.
One bet I will make is that if they name it “The Frankie Five” at a takeout of 22% and a $1 increment, horseplayers will reject it as if it is a Frank’s Energy Drink.
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